Archive for the ‘Marriage in the News’ Category

I hadn’t heard of it, but there is a play running in Washington D.C. called, “Bachelorette.” Eve Tushnet reviews it briefly here.  In the play, four overprivileged young women, as Tushnet describes them, are together the night before one of them gets married.

Marriage, for these women, is the gold ring (appropriate, hmmm?) they are all trying desperately to grasp.  It has everything to do with their goals for status and nothing to do with relationship. Tushnet describes it like this:

What the girls are really gluttonous for–their idol, what they want to consume, to possess, more than they want loyalty or friendship or happiness–is marriage.

This is marriage conceived purely as a status marker. It’s the final sign that you’ve arrived: a more consoling source of self-worth than your looks, or a good job. Marriage is a scarce good, not a default life path.

Picture the Jersey wives or the Kardashians or even a Bridezilla.  Bottom line: It’s all about them.

So, let’s test ourselves.  When you think about marriage, what do you picture?  There may be an initial mental image of a beautiful wedding, and then where do your thoughts go? How do you see yourself, and your future spouse when you picture marriage?  Take five minutes and just scratch out some of the images you see or ideas that come to mind.

Share with us what you see or imagine if you want to.  We’ll talk more about this tomorrow.


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So, marriage is really making headlines this week. Voters in North Carolina voted yesterday to define marriage as the union only of a man and a woman, and then President Obama stated that he is in favor of same-sex marriage.

I get the idea that most of the people I know who say that they support same-sex marriage do so because they think it’s fair. It’s fair that same-sex couples who love each other should be able to be together, they say.  Certainly the ads created by supporters of same-sex marriage play on this idea–even though no one is proposing a law that says same-sex couples can’t live together. But the gist of the ads talk largely about fairness, rights, responsibilities, hospital visitation, love, insurance, etc.

But here’s what they don’t talk about: sex and children. What I mean is, you see children in the ads, but you never hear anyone who supports same-sex marriage actually talk about sex and what it does or doesn’t do.  They don’t talk about how children arrive in the world and what children will lose if marriage is changed, and I think that that should be the most important part of the argument.  Is changing marriage going to be fair to children?  Do you think it’s important that our laws try to give them all a mother and a father?

Aren’t you glad you stopped by the blog today?  🙂

So about the sex. The definition of marriage implies sex and that’s mostly because of babies. It takes both a man and a woman to make a baby, and someone wise long ago decided it would be a good idea if the people who make the baby stick together to raise the baby, and they called it marriage. This is the way it has been done all over the world, and it seems like a pretty good idea because children have hard lives when they don’t grow up with both a mom and a dad.

Changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples would be a pretty radical change because it would no longer have much of anything to do with sex and babies. If widely redefined, marriage would become a way that two adults (or more, if marriage is about adults rather than connecting a child and his parents, its definition could naturally expand) tell other people that they are connected to each other based on their feelings for each other. They might choose to bring children into their lives, but the nature of their relationship will not naturally produce children.

The government recognizes marriage only because of children.  For example, the government is not interested in the fact that Jones and I are longtime friends, but they are interested to know who we married and if we will have children.  The government wants to know who is taking care of children, and government leaders have chosen to give tax breaks to married couples with children because they are sacrificing to raise our country’s most valuable resource: the next generation.

So, given these brief ideas, I’m curious about your thoughts. What do you think about the proposed redefinition? Did I give you any new ideas to consider?

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Many young adults are putting off marriage and family due to student loan debts, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.  Former students interviewed for the article took out more burdensome (variable interest rates and without flexible repayment options) private loans in addition to loans offered through federal programs.

Plans to marry or have children are on hold, says Ms. Romine. “I’m just looking for some way to manage my finances.”

She and her fiance are each working more than 60 hours per week to keep their payments on time, and pay for their current expenses.

Another graduate and her husband have other plans on hold.

Ms. Jokela has given up on her hopes of getting an M.B.A., starting her own interior-design firm or having children. “How could I consider having children if I can barely support myself?” she says.

Managing finances and communicating about it is integral to every marriage. In fact, how a couple deals or fails to deal with money is an indicator of marital health, and good marriage counselors cover finances in premarital counseling.

As you think about marrying, does student debt, or any other kind of debt, figure into your thoughts or plans for marriage and family? Because financial management is such a huge part of marriage, it’s a subject that deserves your attention now, and we want to cover it in future posts. In the meantime, we would like to know what are you doing or not doing about any debt that you have, and would debt keep you from marrying?

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New polling research reports that President Obama is the favored candidate of unmarried women. He leads candidate Romney among women overall.

In the Pew Research Center’s most recent national survey, conducted March 7-11, Obama led Mitt Romney by 20 points (58% to 38%) among women voters.

The difference between married and unmarried women voters is a great contrast. An earlier poll (mentioned here) in February demonstrates the disparity.

In February, 64 percent of unmarried women said they would vote for Obama over Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, according to a Democracy Corps survey analyzed by Democratic pollsters. Only 31 percent picked the GOP candidate. The gap — 33 points — was 10 points bigger than in it was in January.

Now look at what married women say: 56 percent said they would vote for Romney, and only 37 percent for Obama, with virtually no change from January to February.

We want to hear from you.  Does the president have your potential vote, or are you one of the smaller percentage that would prefer another candidate? What principles of your chosen candidate attract you to him? Would you expect your vote to change if you were married?


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